Espressos are the foundation of a cafe, serving as the base for the cappuccinos, lattes and americanos that are commonly served. Arguably, one of the most complicated and difficult brewing methods available, changes in humidity, coffee age, roast level and water are just some of the variables that have to be accounted for to brew a good shot.
What you’ll need:
- 15g coffee (2.5 teaspoons) in espresso grind
- Espresso machine
- Scales, if possible, otherwise follow eye measurements
- Top up the water tank of your espresso machine.
- Place the coffee in your portafilter and gently tamp to even out the coffee grinds and create a compact bed of grinds by pushing down evenly.
- Place the portafilter into the espresso machine and turn on the machine. Brew for 35s.
- If the coffee tastes too sour, then you can 1. Grind finer or 2. add more pressure to the tamping to make the grinds more compact, this will improve extraction. Vice versa if the coffee is bitter or astringent since it has been over extracted and needs gentler tamping or a coarser grind
- The water temperature and bar pressure play a huge role in how espresso tastes, if your espresso machine allows it, you can modulate these variables aiming for a 94-96°C extraction
- For a lighter roast, you can increase the dosage to get more extraction (keeping every other variable constant). For a dark roast, decrease the dose to get a balanced cup.
- Tamp evenly: When you tamp the coffee grinds, keep in mind that the coffee should be level (in a straight line). Uneven tamping can cause channelling which results in an inferior shot of espresso.
- The visual aspect of the 35 second extraction should be split into 3rds, starting with a thin, dark stream of espresso, moving towards a steady caramel color, and towards the end a lighter faster stream, too much of the light extraction will make the coffee bitter and woody.
Click here to explore our collection of roasted coffee you can brew as an Espresso.